Millennium Post

Ex-SL PM to contest upcoming parliamentary election

Colombo: Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is set to contest the country's upcoming parliamentary election from the Colombo district, a source from his United National Party (UNP) has revealed.

Wickremesinghe has already informed the UNP, which he heads and is the incumbent ruling party, that he will be contesting, amidst reports that the former leader may be offered a national list seat by former presidential hopeful Sajith Premadasa, who is now leading the newly formed Samagi Jana Balawegaya Alliance, of which the UNP is the main constituent party, the Daily Mirror newspaper quoted the source as saying on Monday.

The source said that Wickremesinghe's camp had also maintained that there would be no change in the electorates of any members and they will all contest from their respective constituencies.

This was in reference to reports that some UNP members were trying to contest from different electorates, causing disagreement within the party.

"No one will be able to make any changes to their electorates and this has been conveyed to all members. No one can be involved in any kind of trading," the Daily Mirror quoted the source as saying.

Meanwhile, a final decision on the party's symbol will be taken on March 1 when the leaders and working committee meet, after which the UNP and its alliance members can prepare their campaign for the elections.

The parliamentary election is expected to be held before December 1.

The election date was postponed by over a year to January 5, 2019, after Parliament was dissolved in November 2018 by former President Maithripala Sirisena, while calling for a snap election.

But the dissolution was suspended by the island nation's Supreme Court and ordered a halt to the snap election while moving the election date to 2020.

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